“At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honey sweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Cézanne This week I am deep in the writing process for my new book on Elemental Yin Yang Yoga. Since fall has arrived with such fortitude here in New England, it is only natural that I devote my time to the Metal element. If you aren't as familiar with the Chinese philosophy of the 5 Elements as you are with other systems, the concept of Metal and its attributes may not feel as relatable as the others. However, in Yin Yang yoga, metal has an important role in rounding out the practice so it is vital to understand. Autumn is the perfect time to connect with Metal on and off your mat and I hope these musings and exercises inspire you to deepen your personal relationship with this beautiful element. The Season of Metal Fall is a magical time and an important season for the Elemental yogi. After the warmth and expansion of the summer, autumn allows one to reconnect to their practice and integrate all the breakthroughs the heat may have afforded. Autumn reminds us that life is not permanent as we watch the changing and falling of the leaves. The final harvest begins and the crisp cool air of this beautiful season helps us to reflect on all of the accomplishments of the past year while inspiring us to make sure our preparations for winter have begun. Autumn is ruled by the Metal element and this is by far the most challenging of the Five Elements for many yogis to grasp. Since Metal doesn’t immediately seem like a natural extension of the other elements it often takes more time for yogis to feel connected to. To help you relate to the seasonal nature of metal try this exercise.